Thursday, March 24, 2016

Tales of a Toddler Bed

kidkraft toddler bed
Big boy beds: great for cuddling, not so great for sleeping.
If there's one thing I've learned about parenting over the last three years, it's that the minute you find your groove with something - naps, schedules, food dislikes - it's bound to change.

For the last few months, the Muffin Man has been begging us for a big boy bed.  He's been very specific about what he wants - a red bed, because red is his favorite color - and very persistent.  I probably haven't mentioned this before, because it didn't really seem relevant, but now that Noah is almost three, I suppose it bears stating that my son still sleeps in a crib.  Unlike most kids, he's never tried to climb out and he's always been very content to hang out in his crib.  I don't think this is due to any superior parenting skills on my part, but has more to do with the fact that his crib is one of the old drop-side numbers that's illegal due to the threat of your child losing a finger, but very effective in keeping your offspring contained.  Before you call child protective services on me for negligent parenting I just want to point out that no one has lost a digit, and the crib was free, and I'm not one to turn down free furniture due to the vague threat of being maimed.  The point is that Noah has been happily contained inside his cell for over three years now and hadn't taken any issue with it until recently.

I personally had plans to keep him confined to his crib for as long as humanly possible, because there is nothing creepier than a small human sidling up to you in bed at night and breathing into your face, and also because the last thing I want is my kid being able to walk down the hall and climb into my bed when he wakes up in the middle of the night.  If you have not yet had the intense displeasure of sleeping with a toddler in your bed, let me just say this: while it sounds cuddly and sweet, it usually ends with one (or both parents) getting punched in the face by a flailing toddler limb.

However, now that the Muffin Man is three and we spend (almost) every weekend attending birthday  parties at his friends homes, he's started to notice that his peers no longer sleep in cribs.  I'm sure some asshole toddler probably also told him that only babies sleep in cribs, therefore ensuring that my son has a complex about his bed situation.  Thus began the period wherein Noah would constantly beg for a big boy bed - when he woke up in the morning, when I put him to bed at night - and I figured since we weren't getting a decent night's sleep anyway what with the whole napping situation, I might as well throw caution to the wind, say fuck it, and get the kid a bed. 

The red bed arrived, and in some sort of Purim miracle my Jewish husband and son not only put it together, but managed not to injure themselves with a power tool either.  Once it was all set-up, and Noah's initial excitement wore off, he even took a (short) nap in it.

Sunday evening I was feeling rather proud of myself for engineering such a successful transition from crib to bed...until it became evident that Noah was not going to fall asleep in his new bed.  He was having a wonderful time hanging out in it, but actually falling asleep in the thing was proving to be elusive.  After several hours (yes, hours) of stories, songs, and back rubbing, the only person who fell asleep in the new bed was me.  I finally asked him if he wanted to sleep in his crib instead, and he said yes.  So we moved the mattress back to his crib, put him in, and he fell asleep in less than a minute.  And he's been sleeping in his crib without complaint every night since then.


The moral of the story: don't let your three year old make decisions about his life, because he has no clue what he is (and is not) ready for.  This is probably something I would know if I ever read any sort of parenting book. 

In the meantime, the Little Lady is putting the empty bed frame to excellent use as a stage for her daily karaoke shows.

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